'What a disappointment': 7 reactions to Ramaphosa’s address on looting and unrest

13 July 2021 - 09:00 By unathi nkanjeni
President Cyril Ramaphosa called for calm and order on Monday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa called for calm and order on Monday.
Image: GCIS

Many on social media have dubbed President Cyril Ramaphosa's address on Monday night a miss, saying he did not show strong leadership qualities. 

Ramaphosa delivered his second address in two days, in the wake of ongoing looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

The violence broke out in Gauteng at the weekend after days of protests in KwaZulu-Natal linked to the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.

In his address, Ramaphosa pledged to restore calm across the country and authorised the deployment of the SA Defence Force (SANDF) to help the SA Police Service.

He said the violence had its roots in the pronouncements and activities of individuals with a political purpose, and expressions of frustration and anger.

“At the beginning of this unrest, there may have been some people who sought to agitate for violence and disorder along ethnic lines. We know that the majority of our people have out of principle refused to be mobilised along these lines,” said Ramaphosa. 

“However, what we are witnessing now are opportunistic acts of criminality, with groups of people instigating chaos merely as a cover for looting and theft.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on July 12 2021, after violent looting and riots across the country.

Ramaphosa said the death toll from recent days of civil unrest had risen to at least 10. 

“At this hour, there are several families in our country that are in mourning. I speak of the families of Nkosikhona Chiza, Ndumiso Shezi, Khaya Mkhize, Zethembe Ndwandwe, Lindani Bhengu and Lindokuhle Gumede in Gauteng.

“I speak of the families of Bhekani Ndlovu, Themba Mthembu, Aphiwe Gama and Cebo Dlamini in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.

He said there was no grievance, nor political cause, that could justify the violence and destruction that has been happening in the two provinces. 

He said the SANDF and SAPS will prioritise the prosecution of suspects alleged to be involved in this violence.

“We will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute those who perpetrate these actions and will ensure that they face the full might of our law. We will restore calm and order so that we can get on with the task of rebuilding this country and creating a better life for its people,” Ramaphosa said. 

On social media, many weighed in on the address.

'He failed to address the structural socio-economic constraints'

'Very little in his address offered anything new or significant'

'That weak speech has done nothing to inspire confidence'

“Ramaphosa looked battle weary throughout his address'

'What we needed was political accountability and leadership'

'A real President speaks to his people'

'Let us not beat about the bush'

Watch other latest videos of the violence and looting below: